February 2 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On the importance of the first two games before the long road trip:
First things first, I think playing Arizona, they’ve been close games. The power play’s played such a big part in it. I think they’ve scored four and we’ve scored three, and they’ve been all really important goals. I think that’s a big part of taking care of it. When you talk about that, special teams are important.

On Dave Tippett coaching his 1,000th NHL game tonight:
Not many guys do. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about is the number of games, add your playoff games, winning percentage, best coaches. Forever. That’s the way it works. Those three things. For someone like David, whose coached as long as he has – he played also, obviously – but you have to be able to do it through the changes of the game, and he’s been able to sustain it, which tells you a lot, too. [Reporter: It’s pretty impressive when you look at the list of the active coaches, like Joel and yourself and Lindy. Wow, Dave.] You sort of do in third person when you talk about it, quite honest, because I’ve had to hire coaches also. Again, the changes in the game, all those guys you’re talking about, we’ve all been through what, two or three lockouts, and those lockouts, they weren’t just salary-related, they were based on rule change-related and the changes in the style of game. That tells you lots, always.

On Dwight King’s play since his late December return:
You know, when he came back and we talked about it, it was the start of the trip right after Christmas, and we brought him on this trip and then put him in, and he missed, what, Arizona-Van, and then we put him in in Edmonton, and I think it’s a little bit natural, but he had three or four[-game] really good spike in there in his game, and then he had a real dip, and we’ve backed his minutes off. Again, it’s a competition. It’s going to be. I don’t care who they are or what they’ve been. His game, the last couple have not been up to par, and we’ll just see where it goes. I’m not playing favorites or anything like that. He had three months off. Should have lots of energy, that’s the way I look at it. He’s an important player if he’s on his game because he can kill penalties and doesn’t take penalties and can play anywhere in your four lines. You can move anywhere you want, but he’s got to be on his game. When you’re into the make-the-playoffs-mode, you expect to see that out of players like that, play with some urgency. We talked about it before Kinger came back. Hey, he’s an important player in the scheme just because of quietly his detail in his game. But he’s got to have that detail. As soon as the detail’s not there, then his game is not on. It’s just a quiet, strong game that he’s got to play. If you’re noticing him, it’s usually because he’s not on his game.

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